Curious Old Window Coffee Table: Practical 10-Step Project

How to turn an old window into a coffee table

Most of us have a lot of leftover wood and other materials like old windows that we don’t use anymore. It can be tough to figure out what to do with all of it. But with a little creativity, you can turn them into an old window coffee table.

We recently completed some renovations on our home and were left with a lot of scrap material. Rather than throwing it all away, we’ve been looking for ways to repurpose it and give it new life. We’ve been able to use some of the scraps to create new pieces of furniture, like a coffee table or end table.

We’ve also been able to use it to make some smaller household items, like a key holder or paper towel holder. It’s been fun to be creative and find new ways to use materials that would have otherwise gone to waste. So, I’m sharing this great idea for a “new” coffee table.

This old window upcycling project was perfect since we had some of these things already. I think it’s a gorgeous addition to the living room! You can use the old window to store some magazines, the TV remote, or random things you may not want lying around on top of your table.

Lets get started on making an amazing old window coffee table with our guide below.

Constructing an Old Window Coffee Table


  • An old window
  • Some pallet wood
  • 4 sturdy table legs
  • Hinges
  • Plywood for the bottom of your coffee table
  • Leg bracket attachment


  • Cordless Drill
  • Miter Saw
  • Table Saw
  • 18 Gauge Brad Nailer
  • Orbital Palm Sander
  • Wood Glue
  • Hammer
  • 3” nails
  • 2” brad nails
  • 5”  screws


Prepare the Old Window

  • Inspect the window for any damage. Repair cracks or replace glass panes if necessary. Clean the window thoroughly.

Measure and Cut the Pallet Wood

  • Using the dimensions of your old window, measure and mark the pallet wood for the sides of the coffee table box.
  • Cut the pallet wood to size with the miter saw.

Build the Coffee Table Box

  • Assemble the box frame using wood glue and 3” nails to secure the corners.
  • Ensure the frame matches the dimensions of the old window, as this will serve as the tabletop.

Cut and Attach the Plywood Bottom

  • Measure and cut a piece of plywood to fit the bottom of the box using the table saw.
  • Attach the plywood to the bottom of the box using wood glue and 2” brad nails with the brad nailer.

Sand the Box and Window Frame

  • Using the orbital palm sander, sand down the box and the window frame to remove any rough edges or splinters. Pay special attention to achieving a smooth finish.

Attach the Table Legs

  • Flip the box so the bottom is facing up.
  • Position each leg bracket in the corners and use the cordless drill and 5” screws to secure the brackets to the box.
  • Screw the table legs into the brackets.

Prepare the Window for Attachment

  • Lay the window on top of the box to ensure it fits correctly. Mark where the hinges will go on the window and the box.
  • Pre-drill holes for the hinges.

Attach the Window to the Box

  • Attach the hinges to the window and then to the box using the screws provided with the hinges. Ensure the window opens and closes smoothly.

Final Touches

  • Once the window is securely attached, inspect the table for any missed spots that need sanding or additional nails or screws.
  • Apply a finish to the wood if desired, such as a stain or sealant, to protect the wood and enhance its appearance.

Add Accessories

  • Consider adding felt pads to the bottom of the legs to protect your floors.
  • You can also customize the interior of the table box, perhaps lining it with fabric or adding compartments for storage.

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Finishing Techniques for a Professional Look

Giving your old window coffee table a professional finish enhances its beauty, protects the materials, and extends its life. Whether you’re aiming for a rustic appeal or a sleek, modern look, the right finishing techniques can make a significant difference. 

Here are some effective finishing methods that will ensure your old window coffee table stands out in any room.

Sanding for Smoothness

Start by thoroughly sanding the entire coffee table, including the pallet wood base and the old window frame. Use an orbital palm sander with varying grits of sandpaper. Begin with a coarse grit to remove any rough patches or splinters, and gradually move to a finer grit for a smooth finish. This step is crucial for preparing the surface for staining or painting and is essential for achieving a professional look.

Staining for Depth and Warmth

Staining is an excellent way to highlight the natural beauty of the wood on your old window coffee table. Choose a stain color that complements the wood and fits with the overall design of your room. Apply the stain with a brush or rag, working in the direction of the wood grain, and wipe away excess stain. For an even more professional finish, apply multiple thin coats rather than a single thick one. Allow ample drying time between coats.

Painting for Personality

Painting your old window coffee table can transform its appearance, giving it a fresh, new look. Use a primer first if you’re changing the color drastically or working with untreated wood. Choose a paint suitable for the material of your table and apply it in several light coats to avoid drips and brush marks. For the old window pane, consider using a paint that complements or contrasts with the base for an eye-catching effect.

Sealing for Protection

Sealing your coffee table is vital for protecting both the wood and the painted surfaces from wear and tear, moisture, and spills. A clear polyurethane sealer works well for most projects and is available in both matte and glossy finishes. Apply the sealer with a clean brush, following the manufacturer’s instructions for drying times. This step will not only protect your coffee table but also give it a finished professional sheen.

Adding a Protective Layer to the Window

Considering the unique element of your coffee table is an old window, it’s crucial to ensure the glass is also protected. Applying a clear protective film to the glass can prevent scratches and minimize damage from everyday use. Alternatively, consider using a glass-specific sealer to safeguard against stains without obscuring the beauty of the window.

Custom Finishes

For those looking to add an extra touch of uniqueness to their old window coffee table, consider custom finishes like distressing the wood for a vintage look or applying a crackle glaze over the paint for an antique feel. These techniques require a bit of practice but can add a layer of character and sophistication to your project.

By following these finishing techniques, you can achieve a professional look for your old window coffee table that will enhance its beauty and ensure it remains a durable and cherished piece in your home for years to come.

How to turn an old window into a coffee table

Accessorizing Your Old Window Coffee Table

Accessorizing your old window coffee table can transform it from a simple piece of furniture to the focal point of your living space. With the right decorative touches, you can enhance its unique character and make it a true reflection of your personal style. 

Here are some creative ways to accessorize your old window coffee table and bring out its best features.

Displaying Keepsakes and Collectibles

The space beneath the glass of your old window coffee table is perfect for showcasing keepsakes, collectibles, or any items that hold special meaning. Arrange items like vintage books, old photographs, or travel souvenirs in a way that tells a story or reflects your interests. This not only personalizes your table but also protects your treasures while keeping them visible.

Adding Functional Beauty with Trays and Bowls

Utilize decorative trays or bowls on top of your coffee table to organize items like remote controls, coasters, or keys. Choose pieces that complement the overall design of your table and add a touch of elegance. For instance, a wooden tray can enhance the rustic charm of the table, while a metallic bowl could introduce a modern element.

Enhancing Ambiance with Lighting

Candles, string lights, or small lamps can add a warm and inviting ambiance to your living space when placed on or around your old window coffee table. If you’re using candles, consider a collection of varying heights and scents that coordinate with the seasons. For a more whimsical look, fairy lights can be draped around the table or placed inside the window pane area for a soft, glowing effect.

Incorporating Greenery

Adding plants or flowers to your coffee table can bring a fresh, lively touch to the room. Whether it’s a small potted plant, a succulent garden, or a vase of fresh flowers, greenery can complement the natural wood elements of your table. If you’re placing plants beneath the glass, ensure they are low-maintenance or fake to avoid the need for frequent watering.

Playing with Textiles

Textiles like small rugs, runners, or decorative cloths can add texture and color to your old window coffee table. Choose fabrics that match your room’s decor and place them under the table for a layered look or on the table itself for added interest. This is a simple way to introduce new patterns or colors into your space without overwhelming it.

Rotating Seasonal Decor

Rotating decorations with the seasons can keep your old window coffee table looking fresh and relevant. From holiday-themed displays to summer beach finds, changing your accessories can rejuvenate your space and make your table a dynamic part of your home decor.

By carefully selecting accessories for your old window coffee table, you can enhance its appearance, functionality, and charm. Whether you prefer a minimalist approach or a more is more philosophy, the key is to choose items that reflect your personality and complement the unique style of your table.


Building an old window coffee table is a rewarding DIY project that combines creativity with sustainability. This unique piece not only adds a touch of rustic charm to your living space but also offers a fantastic way to repurpose materials that might otherwise be overlooked. With the right tools, materials, and a bit of imagination, you can create a beautiful and functional coffee table that’s sure to be a conversation starter.

We have more unique table ideas. Check out our octagon picnic table next!



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